The saying goes ‘like father, like son’ and that’s certainly the case for Robert Irwin. The young wildlife conservationist, 17, shocked fans earlier this week after he posted a rather terrifying video of himself feeding a crocodile at Australia Zoo.
In the video, which he posted to Instagram on Wednesday, Robert can be seen luring the crocodile to the water’s edge with what seems to be a dead animal of some sort. As the young teen creeps a little closer, the crocodile leaps out of the water and right into Robert’s path, forcing some quick-thinking from the wildlife warrior as he jumps backwards.
While most people wouldn’t dare go back for more, the teen continues to tease the hungry croc with the snack before finally dropping it into its mouth.
“Bluey the croc putting on a big strike!” Robert captioned the post. “There’s nothing quite like getting to experience the power of these modern-day dinosaurs, it’s such a privilege!”
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Fans of Robert’s were quick to comment on the near-miss, with one writing: “Yikes! Big strike! I jumped on your behalf.” Another said: “This used to totally freak me out when your dad would do this … but he loved every second of it. You are just like him. It still scares me seeing you do it, but I also know that you wouldn’t change a thing.”
Others couldn’t believe how similar the young wildlife conservationist looked to his late father Steve, with one writing: “You look so much like your dad right there!!! Nice croc feeding!” Another added: “So cool seeing you do what your dad was so passionate about!!”
Robert’s adventure-loving ways no doubt come from his late father, who was regularly pictured cuddling up to big crocs. Sadly, Steve was killed when a stingray’s barb pierced his heart while filming a documentary at the Great Barrier Reef in 2006.
This isn’t the first time fans have picked up on the duo’s uncanny resemblance. In September 2020, Robert caused quite the frenzy on social media after he uploaded a photo of himself cuddling up to a crocodile at Australia Zoo.
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The snap showed Robert – wearing the iconic khaki zoo uniform that is synonymous with his dad – holding a crocodile with both hands while smiling widely at the camera. The funny thing is, Steve posed for an almost identical photo about 18 years ago.
The young conservationist, along with 22-year-old sister Bindi, has followed in his father’s footsteps in many ways and is already an established wildlife photographer in his own right, as well as being a regular at media events such as The Logies and on TV chat shows. And he may be just 17, but Robert has been taking part in the world-famous crocodile shows at Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast for years too. So it’s no surprise that fans of the late wildlife warrior may mistake the youngster for his father.